RISE & FALL OF THE RAJAPAKSE REGIME – IS A REVIVAL POSSIBLE?
Posted on May 12th, 2015

By GOMIN DAYASRI

 Rise and fall of the Rajapakse regime is a sequel to War & Peace – not in the style of Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel: instead a version tropicalized and condensed.

    Triumph at war brought Rajapakse to the forefront in the South of Sri Lanka, with a victory that produced mammoth support in 2010, after a squeaky win in 2005.

 North that benefitted more in regaining its lost freedom and democracy, the restoration of facilities destroyed by the terrorists, never forgave Rajapakse for overcoming the pride they took in their home grown terrorism that formed rich folk lore in the peninsula – however devastating and cruel it was – northerners led inaudible cheering squads in its favour. Beneath it, is their intense dislike of the majority Sinhalese making reconciliation a task more difficult?

 They bided time and stung back to end his rule by the exercise of the same franchise that Rajapakse secured and restored to them. He nevertheless won the south again in 2015 but lost the election due to a monolithic northern bloc vote. That makes Sri Lanka a truly functional democracy where terrorism remains an under current in the north – notwithstanding western critics.

 Peace brought his downfall. President under went a ‘right royal’ change of personality, after the glory associated with the war victory; made him visualise he is immortal in leadership and his subjects would cry hurrah and accept any dodgy ruling he decreed. Still suffering from that hangover, though in retreat, it’s gradually easing. He needs to earth his feet on the green grass on this emerald isle.

 Convinced himself presidency was a legacy of a life time – over estimated his own renown, unmindful the existing four year term had irked the new voters – firmly anti establishment- had never in their lifetime witnessed but UPFA administrations in office, which was sickening to younger minds.

 Treasury and the Central Bank manoeuvred his defeat by causing economic hardships targeting the common man who voted for Rajapakse with both hands, while relief was lavishly extended to the sectors that traditionally never voted for him. The zombies of the sunshine budget of 2014 belonged to a class that lived in the clouds as the goodies were delivered long after the results of election were released. Rajapakse never realized his own palace guards skewed him alive in a deranged government that was in disarray. This meant thumping majorities in the south gained previously in 2010 narrowed precariously in 2015. He was dependent on large majorities in the southern constituencies that never materialised in 2015 to offset the northern avalanche.

 Mahinda Rajapakse still is singularly the most popular politician in the south. His popularity was of a restrictive nature but after the war it rocketed in the south and spread across barriers of age, sex, religion, class and party politics. His public image grew with his effervescent charm, as he is a master of public relations. Mahinda Rajapakse is Sri Lanka’s greatest achiever in modern history for restoring peace to a troubled island by exterminating the worse of terrorism.

 He lost his balance in his second term and the sycophants took him on an ego trip they designed for their benefit. He fell for it and took the fun ride; yet he was mindful never to permit the interest of the nation to be squandered in the hands of foreign marauders. Rajapakse is the beneficiary and sufferer of these twin ramifications.

The sycophants around the palace gloated, after the war, to make him feel bloated, amidst the ecstasy of the people rejoicing, foreseeing the ability of living a life of normalcy without terrorism at the doorstep. Overdoing was the trend, originating from giant billboards spouting massive cut outs to large retinues that accompanied him around the globe in seized national carriers; it was reverence in the palace to veneration in the office.

 Thrived on the theme, ‘King can do no Wrong’ on which His Excellency placed reliance. Fair play and equal treatment had slipped out of the palace premises and was found hanging in the temple trees around the garden.

 Rajapakse lived beyond the tolerable limits of overwhelming gratitude. Regime took gratitude for granted and thought it was perpetual. Fear of war was gone; safety precautions were lax to mean any act – proper or otherwise – were justifiable in peacetime for having won the war; validated entry passes to the sycophants as though the expiry date extended to eternity.

 Sycophants thought it was going to be a life long romance as many now face inquiry, which if handled, by the Attorney General’s Department will never see an end as in the cast iron case against the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation during the previous administration.

 At such a time wrote an article called ‘Yes Mr President’ mocking life and time at the palace, which irritated the sycophants that stood guard. So wrote the late S.L. Gunasekera more passionately. The great man was more rationale than his sickening sycophants. He expressed he is allergic to reading.

A scintilla of that vicious inflated germ still remains; he does not take the people into confidence and talks in inane riddles, leave much to speculation that give leads to guessing games. It’s the IOU’s that he collects in retirement from the unwanted that could paralyse him in the future.

 SLFP May Day rally displayed the faithful of the present hierarchy of Sirisena cheering lustily at the mention of the Rajapakse name in the park revealing the depth of his popularity. It was otherwise when the lady was named who is said to have left early after seeing/hearing the reaction. Sirisena made a note of it and agreed to talk to Rajapakse.  

 At the next general election the contest in a nutshell is between Mahinda Rajapakse the individual, against the UNP with its multiple alliances. Ironically, Chandrika Kumaranatunga did not think Mahinda Rajapakse was presidential material and Mahinda Rajapakse never considered Maitripala Sirisena as a contender for Presidency?

 Mahinda Rajapakse in overcoming terrorism has his name written boldly in history and Maitripala Sirisena for reducing the prestige of the President in his first 100 days has earned a footnote. It shows when opportunity strikes leadership gives rise. Chandrika learnt her place in history expressed by her own people at the May Day rally.

 Sirisena’s performance in 100 days may not be remarkable but has grown in stature in office in a limited time frame. “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun” a quote from Mao Zedong, upholding the legacy of Marxism-Leninism and Maoism. Here in Sri Lanka democratically, ‘power grows out of the office of its holders’.

After 19A – the offices of the Prime Minister [UNP] and President [SLFP] become the joint power points. They combined to form a triumvirate taking on board the office of the Leader of the Opposition [SLFP]. Strange bed-fellers, out of necessity, snuggle coy in bed. Such abnormal sleeping arrangements are not congenial to public health being downright queer but it did produce results in the passing of the 19th amendment for the government.

When the prime opposition merges with a weak government for the love of office, the game is no longer a friendly brawl between cowboys and crooks as played by naive schoolboys but a dowdy democracy where some political outlaws knowingly function in the office of the sheriff. It has kept many a suspect away from inquiry on becoming the holder of office- a safe haven more comfortable than an imprisoned hospital ward.

Triumvirate coordinated the work thus – play on fear and offer the comfort of ministerial office to overcome it. Brought success temporarily –but could vanquish the SLFP that might morph into a rival alliance led by Rajapakse if nomination is denied. An alliance is already in the hunt for the plum.

John Kerry visited to give a Yankee thumbs up to the present government. American foreign policy is in search of friendly marionettes rather than sturdy democrats. They find a servile threesome in Colombo and Kerry descended to pat them on the back. What an achievement! After touching the Queens hands in the raw to feel the palm of the Vice President of USA – fits Robert Knox’s description of a local farm hand being fit to hold post of a king after the mud is washed off!

19A was chopped and chipped, sliced and spliced en route to receiving the Speaker’s assent. Final product was the shadow of the original script but was overwhelmingly approved since the triumvirate successfully attracted the tender loins of opposition MPs’. It overwhelmed Mahinda Rajapakse comprehensively to make his May Day cry sound as helpless as a pilot in distress. 19A dented the onward march of Rajapakse with the ayes in parliament.

Wickremasinghe is no Rajapakse but has powerful friends in New Delhi and Washington interested that his administration remains intact – will give a re-insurance cover to the present government from a distance. That can be the undoing of the UNP, as it cannot meet the patriotic call of Rajapakse if he desires to unleash his trump card.

Wickremasinghe’s best bet is to watch a divided SLFP tear each other and to emerge as the winner in a hung parliament and make the supportive fraction of the SLFP join him to form a national government along with the minor parties. Is it likely to be a government in office for one term? He is troubled by a falling economy and rising prices that hurt voters – same factors that ultimately undid Rajapakse.

Limping into a third position is Sirisena’s SLFP at the forthcoming election if he does not align with Rajapakse or Wickremasinghe. Sirisena is obliged to the UNP for making him the president and tilts that way. SLFP is over loaded with much junk that people will not vote but Rajapakse might volunteer to carry such rubbish friendly to him. This could become UNP’s main weapon of mass destruction. But, then look at the cabinet Ranil Wickremasinghe presides over? Will Rajapakse be able to accumulate votes for candidates who have robbed the country to enter parliament to rob again at the appropriate time!!

To name the winner is a tough call and is too early to predict though currently UNP has the edge. Their rule in the next 100 days will tell more, as they drop more votes

14 Responses to “RISE & FALL OF THE RAJAPAKSE REGIME – IS A REVIVAL POSSIBLE?”

  1. . Says:

    Jaweera Says;
    Dear Gomin
    Your economic analysis given in your article is incorrect. Government can not interfere with commodity prices. Process should be self adjusted by the state of economy, Please note that the international monitoring groups have already acknowledged that during Mahinda’s government Sri lankan economy was steadily moving towards faster development phase. Now the progress is reversed.

    I strongly recommend you to stick to your own field. See what is happening in the judiciary today in Sri Lanka. Judges themselves do not understand the difference between criminal offence and civil offence and those who are accused of civil offences, like various politicians are being denied of proper justice, and without bail most of the victims are kept in remand prison indefinitely. This is not a healthy situation in Sri Lanka. Situation can explode because of the corrupt judiciary. New judiciary in Sri Lanka is corrupted to the core. God help Sri Lanka.

  2. SA Kumar Says:

    without bail most of the victims are kept in remand prison indefinitely. – You are talking about your Demila brother now ???

    No wonder Our Mother Lanka is Holy Land on Lord Bhudda !!!

  3. Kumari Says:

    Fully agree with Jayaweera.

    Whether people are still accepting unproved corruption of Rajapakse regime or not, the country need MR and GR at this crucial juncture where the majority Sinahalese, Buddhist could be wiped off the land.

  4. charithsls Says:

    A good analysis & I agree MR or rather his henchmen & his family took gratitude for granted;see the latest, the defrostation in Wilpattu has been happening alarmingly from his time & he himself admitting he was not aware of it or was he given into Baduddeen for Muslim pressure.BBS brought up this into public eye but nothing has happened.I think MR depended on Arab votes (other than China)so did not want to rock the boat.JHU, Ithink tried to bring in independent commissions etc last summer after discussions with MR but he did not listen.JHU should be given credit, they tried to bring in sense to MR before they departed.I hope all these corruption investigations though partly political revenge,will bring in fear factor to future rogues & country will be a safer place.Even MR faction wins the majority,Sirisena’s third place with UNP will be good enough for Ranil to form a national govt.Why did MR faction of 40/50 MPs not go against the 19 A amendement if MR still had hopes of contesting the third term I wonder?Were they not under MR control for their fear of not getting nominations?

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    Mahinda Rajapakse was a Post War President. I would imagine that a President in such a position will gather around him some people from different strata of society – hence the ‘syncophants’. This is inevitable for a Post War Prez. Also consider the falsee war crimes charge. Could not have been bringing any comfort either, could it ?

    I do not think anyone can pass judgment on MR as President. It was too onerous a task at that time as War President of Lanka. Pause a moment and place yourself in his shoes before passing judgment. Never shall we get such a Man for All Seasons in Lanka who could move with all and sundry and win the Hearts of so many in spite of war. If he had a strong personality, then all the better for Lanka as he had to stand alone against great odds. May he live long and prosper. And may the harrassment stop now.

  6. Kumari Says:

    I think we the members of the majority community too need to take responsibility. If we stand by our leader, he doesn’t have to please other communities to win votes. Our solid 70% or so plus other votes (those who want to live in a united Lanka) are plenty for any leader to rule. We practice democracy, when other communities use the block vote.

    Sinhalese Buddhists are best served when all are treated equally. Always the Tamils and the Muslims were the privileged lot. They get round the leaders to win special status for them.

  7. Christie Says:

    Namaste: The 2015 Sri Lankan Presidential election: How it happened? What it means for Sri Lanka? What it means for Indian Empire (Indian Union & its colonies)?
    How it happened? Another Indian job. The former President called an early election. The Indian imperialists (India) were ready to correct its mistake in 2005 when it backed Mahinda Rajapaksa over Ranil Wickramasinge. Then, Indian imperialists advised Indian block vote in the island to abstain from voting. The reason for the preference was Indian imperialists thought it will be easier to negotiate with Mahinda an unknown matter for India. Unfortunately for India, Mahinda did not follow Indian directions as former Sri Lankan leaders did since 1956. In 2010 India enrolled General Sarath Fonseka as a presidential candidate against Mahinda and failed. So behind the scene as Indian imperialist always do they were planning for years and got former governor Chandrika Bandaranayake-Kumaranatunge to do the job and succeeded with doing a repeat of what India did with her father Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranayake in 1951. India did not have to wait for four year this time. India managed to divide the non-Indian vote and got the Indian block vote for Maithripala Sirisena the new governor of Sri Lanka who may be the proxy for the real governor Chandrika.

    What it means for Sri Lanka? Nothing much. It will be the same as what the island nation had from 1956 to 2005 and before from 1792 to 1948. The Indian minority will run the country with the privileges they enjoyed since their arrival under the cover of the British fire power and their own nonviolent aggression and oppression. They will claim they are the victims of Majority Chauvinists; the same claim that they make in other colonies from Fiji to Guyana. For example; finance and justice; most important ingredients in the world and heads of these two institutions in the island now are from the victimized minority and one of them has been brought from another colony.

    What it means for the Indian Empire? It means a lot to the Indian Empire. The former partner of the British-Indian Empire from Fiji to Guyana that is all former tropical colonies of the British-Indian Empire. India lost its control over the island nation since 2005 as the new government of the island nation managed to wipe out the Indian terrorist arm; trained, armed, financed, managed and branded Tamil !Tigers by India. Since the election of the new governor Indian cars and food have become cheaper with reduced tax on Indian products. Indian Imperialists have already indicated massive investments and projects in all sectors of the economy. This will not be a hard act as the island nation’s economy has been in their hands for more than two centuries and the business language in the country is an Indian language spoken by more than 75 million of them in India. The wealthiest in the island are Indian though their wealth is not stored in the island but most of it in India. Reclaiming the control over the island nation will supplement its control over the Indian Ocean and Indian Ocean countries. With its unchallenged military power; with ICBMs, Aircraft Carriers, Nuke Subs, Nuke (Peace) bombs and purchase of hundred billion dollars’ worth of military hardware the island nation provides the best step with Mauritius a third State of India to lay a drag line across the Indian Ocean.

    Jai Hind. Contact: xyceliao@gmail.com

  8. Dilrook Says:

    Most are not willing to take negatives. We pointed this out since 2012 of the imminent fall of Mahinda and punishing his relatives unless his second term served Sinhalese more. It is absurd to say Sinhala voters are at fault for not voting for Mahinda when he totally neglected his poor rural Sinhala voters since 2010. The North got everything it dreamt of. Over 90% of borrowed funds were wasted in the north and east (according to official press releases of Basil in 2013) neglecting that voters outside these areas accounted for over 95% of Mahinda’s votes in 2005, 2010.

    Gomin is right on the money in all he says. Time Mahinda took note.

  9. Sirih Says:

    Basil used to look after minority and north east and he is on mega take from muslims and thats why, Wilpattu and other areas was sold to muslims. Namal used to run extortion racket from BOI and other big companies using a army colonel. 2nd son is a murderer and extort money from the cricket projects including big international cricket rights and Ranatunga was a point man. He also responsible for running racing in Kandy, one of the Buddhist holiest cities in Asia.
    3rd son got severe psychological problems and used to get into civilian buses from south and harassed passengers…
    Wife ran all kind of rackets and put the country with Pope and also gave first saint in asia from a Buddhist country. Involve with highly corrupt relatives that bankrupt the whole country.

    So all these happening and where is this so called president? He completely neglected Sinhalese Buddhist people and and also Buddhist ethics. I can write more here re. illegal land grabs, illegal million dollar bank loans that never got paid etc..
    Poor got neglected and crazy kids, corrupt wife, corrupt brother all took the nation for a ride.
    Only good man is Gotabaya and he was fuming mad with MR’s kids since he could not intervened to stop their illegal activities.
    If a father and a president of a country allow your kids and wife to do these things, we need to ask serious questions about our Buddhist ethics.

  10. Metteyya_Brahmana Says:

    Is a rival possible?

    Yes, but it requires Mahinda to win the same voters who voted for him in January (48% of the electorate), and getting back at least half of the non-UNP Buddhist voters who voted for Maithripala over the corruption issue, which would put him at about 52% of the vote/seats in Parliament.

    That may not be that difficult to do if Mahinda presents himself as someone who is now awakened and is serious about reigning in corruption in a ‘non-partisan’ in contrast to Ranil and the UNP’s purely partisan pursuit of corruption, which is an embarrassment. By keeping the Central Bank Governor bond fraud in the public eye, Mahinda steal the corruption issue away from Ranil and the UNP, as it clearly demonstrates that they can’t act against corruption if it is someone in their own party.

    Also, Mahinda can hammer Maithripala for handing over the presidential power to Ranil and the UNP, which goes WAY beyond reducing the power of the executive presidency, and essentially creates an Executive Prime Minister who controls all of the executive functions through his cabinet appointments which Maithripala must accept according to the 19th Amendment. None of this is what the non-UNP Buddhist voter expected when they voted for Maithripala, as they thought Maithripala would still be vested with the power of the executive, even if these powers were reduced, and NEVER would have voted for Maithripala at all if they knew he was simply going to transfer the executive power to Ranil.

    Getting the prime minister appointment is another issue, and is made a little more difficult by no clear rules like the Westminister model they are trying to emulate, in which the queen (Maithripala) always appoints the prime minister who ran as a national candidate from the party that garnered the most seats in Parliament, or at least gives them the first crack at forming a coalition government if they have less than a majority. In practice, Maithripala would be well advised to follow the Westminister model, or the party with the most votes in Parliament could effectively shut down the government with a series of no confidence votes on whomever Maithripala attempts to appoint that is not the national candidate of their party.

    Will the SLFP split? I don’t think so, but I was surprised that a number of SLFP ministers fell for Ranil’s BS ‘unity’ government by accepting MINOR cabinet positions while the UNP took all of the important ones. If these MPs can be subjected to party discipline and rewarded with MAJOR ministerships if they don’t break, the SLFP easily regains control of the government with the UPFA. If Mahinda believes these MPs are too weak, he would be well advised to move NOW on reviving the People’s Alliance, which would decimate the SLFP and leave Maithripala the head of an empty party.

  11. Fran Diaz Says:

    Does schooling in ex-colonial schools make Lanka children confused re values and loyalties ?

  12. Fran Diaz Says:

    I am personally for tolerance and inter-faith living in a Global Village. But what if situations arise where the majority community feels insecure and seek security and safe feelings ? How are they to be reassured when, after a civil conflict lasting a long 30 yrs., the Tamil leaders who ‘lost’ the war wants a Federal state etc ???

    Also, we will never find a perfect leader, akin to Buddha or Jesus, to be a political leader here !! So let us make do with the able, proven good ones we have. Lanka is in a vulnerable place right now and all should think of unity with a peaceful way forward.

  13. Marco Says:

    Sirih,
    It is not the first time you have made various allegations and statements of “in the know” against various people be they Rajapakse clan or what-ever clan.
    If you have proof and evidence it is your duty to disclose such information and evidence to the appropriate authorities whether you are a Sri Lankan citizen or an Australian citizen.
    There is no point in stating “you know” in forums such as this, as it brings back certain credibility issues that you have already been question about in the international fora.

  14. janakic Says:

    A revival is certainly possible if SLFP members get together to convince Mr. Sirisena of the ground reality. 100 day commitment is now over and the SLFP must look at the future of the country. Should the country be another Tamilnadu subservient to India and the West or blossom into a developed State, like Malaysia, Singapore and our neighbours in South East Asia? The future lies with SLFP MPs. They must trade off their support to Mr. Sirisena as the Chair of the SLFP to get back Mahinda as PM.
    Mahinda should also learn from his mistakes. Mahinds has to work in a team in current amended constitution. With the electoral changes the team would be more closer to the voters and decisions have to be taken to please the voters.
    Care should also be taken to weed out non constructive critics and those who have jumped ship and had continued to be critical of Mahinda. I am confident if these strategies are in place there would be a SLFP govt. at the next election that can once again retain the heart and soul of the country.

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